Property data analysts CoreLogic NZ says there appears to have been an increase in foreign buyer activity in the Auckland housing market over the last few months, with foreign buyers rushing in to try to beat the Government's looming ban a likely cause.
The Government's much promised legislation banning foreign home purchases is not yet law and is still making its way through Parliament. It is currently before a Select Committee, which is due to report back in late May.
Nick Goodall, Head of Research at CoreLogic NZ, told Corin Dann in this week's Q+A Business Podcast that according to the last quarter of figures recorded by Land Information New Zealand, the number of property buyers who aren't tax registered in New Zealand had increased to six per cent in the Auckland housing market.
For the last couple of years foreign purchases of houses in Auckland had been running at around four to five per cent. There was no change across the country in the last quarter, with the number of foreign buyers running at around three per cent.
Nick Goodall says the uptick in Auckland could be a sign of people trying to get into the Auckland market before the buyers ban comes into place.
Mr Goodall, however, cautioned that the true impact of foreign buyers is always hard to determine in New Zealand as the data from Land Information New Zealand isn't perfect.
Meanwhile the Government has confirmed it is yet to resolve a trade glitch with the proposed new foreign buyers law, that could see it breach New Zealand's Free Trade deal with Singapore.
A spokesman for Associate Finance spokesman David Parker says negotiations with Singapore over the matter are still on-going.
Housing Minister Phil Twyford signalled when first releasing details of the new law that if a solution to the Singapore trade matter couldn't be found, the Government may have to give Singaporean citizens an exemption to the law.